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Fumio Kishida, former foreign minister of Japan, at his office in Tokyo this month. Photo: Shoko Takayasu/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Fumio Kishida, Japan's former foreign minister, was elected leader of the country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The 64-year-old's win in the leadership election runoff means he's set to become prime minister of the world's third-largest economy, and a key U.S. ally, after a special parliamentary session on Monday, per the Washington Post.

What to expect: Kishida faces the challenge of reviving Japan's pandemic-hit economy following a lengthy state of emergency that began in April amid surging COVID-19 cases. Restrictions will finally lift for all regions this Thursday.

  • His "consensus style" should enable him to consolidate power within the divided party, Reuters notes.
  • Japan's new leader must call an election by Nov. 28.

The big picture: Kishida is succeeding Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who announced earlier this month that he was stepping down after serving one year in office.

  • Suga's approval rating plunged as Japan's COVID-19 cases soared during the Tokyo Olympics.
  • The 72-year-old had replaced Japan's longest-serving prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who resigned in 2020 due to health issues. Before Abe took office, the country had 17 prime ministers in 14 years.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Jan 3, 2022 - World

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigns

Photo: Sarah Meyssonnier/AFP via Getty Images

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigned Sunday amid widespread pro-democracy protests that have rocked the country since a military coup in October.

Why it matters: It's the latest blow to Sudan's fragile transition to a democracy, which comes more than two years after an uprising led to the fall of dictator Omar al-Bashir.

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 2 far-right "America First" activists

The House panel investigating the Capitol riot, from left; Reps. Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Jamie Raskin on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot issued subpoenas Wednesday for far-right leaders Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, who allegedly encouraged followers to go to D.C. and challenge the 2020 election results.

Why it matters: The action underscores the panel's increasing focus on rallies held ahead of the Capitol attack and how extremists were drawn to former President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, per the New York Times.

Democrats fail to change Senate rules to pass voting rights bill

Senate Majority Leader during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats failed Wednesday night to change Senate filibuster rules to pass the voting rights bill, with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) voting with Republicans.

The big picture: The failed effort came after Senate Republicans blocked the voting rights measure from coming to a final vote earlier Wednesday.